Eagles’ Scouting Report Of the Cowboys

What to expect from the Cowboys tomorrow night, according to the Eagles.

Sean Lee and Jason Garrett. (USA Today Sports)

Sean Lee and Jason Garrett. (USA Today Sports)

If you ask Beau Allen, it’s not hard to predict what the Eagles will go up against tomorrow night when they play Dallas.

“When you play a division team like this, you know what to expect,” Allen said. “You get so familiar with their scheme and their personnel. We know what they’re going to do, and they know what we’re going to do. There’s not a whole lot of secrecy to it.”

To get a better feel for what the Eagles will face this week, we asked several players and coaches about Dallas. Here’s what they said, plus stats detailing where the Cowboys rank in the NFL in points per game, yards per carry, passer rating and turnovers on both sides of the ball.


19 (29)4.5 (T-6)86 (17)12 (T-20)

Bill Davis on wide receiver Dez Bryant: “We expect a full game out of Dez Bryant. Probably even more targets at him than it was last week. He’s getting healthier and healthier. I think he kind of tested the waters last week and he passed all the tests, so we think we’re going to get a big dose of a healthy Dez Bryant.”

Chip Kelly on Bryant and tight end Jason Witten: “With Dez out, we kind of had our game plan a lot around Jason Witten because Dez wasn’t playing. Now you have two real weapons. He’s obviously just getting back, but he’s as talented a receiver as we’re going to face. So you have to be aware of where he is at all times. Most of the time, they’re on opposite sides of the field, so it makes it difficult to double both of those guys.”

Nolan Carroll on if the Eagles will cover Bryant similar to how they covered Odell Beckham Jr.: “No, I don’t think so. I think it’ll be more straight man-t0-man.”

Davis on quarterback Matt Cassel: “He has got a lot of experience and it’s not too big for him; he manages the offense. Now, what he’s trying to get is the new offense and all the intricacies of it. When we played him in Minnesota, he had the full year with [current offensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders] Bill Musgrave and he had a great game against us, both with his legs moving the sticks a little bit, and throwing for, I believe, 370 or 380 yards.”

Kelly on Cassel: “The one thing that stands out with him that’s a little bit different is his ability to run. I think he had over 40 yards rushing this past Sunday in Sunday’s game. So you’ve got a guy who is not only an accurate passer, [but] when things break down, he can make things happen with his feet. So he’s a little bit different than some of the other guys that we face.

“So you have to take that into account in terms of his — they don’t have any designed runs, it’s not like going against Cam [Newton] where you’re going to see zone-read or quarterback power or anything like that, but if guys are covered and you’re in coverage and you have your back turned to the quarterback because you’re in man coverage, there is the ability for [Cassel] to pull it down and run. With some guys that’s not a big deal and in other guys it is a big deal, and we have to be real conscious of that.”


24.4 (17)4.1 (T-16)94 (21)4 (T-31)

Kelly on defensive end Greg Hardy: “They are moving him around. You’ll get him inside and get him in some matchups, but predominantly he’s been at the strong-side outside, defensive end for them. But they have moved him around a little bit. I don’t have the exact percentages, but he’s played predominantly at the defensive end spot, and he’s made a lot of damage and hay there.

“But they have moved him around, so you’ve got to be aware that he’s not always going to line up across from your left tackle; he could be inside on the guards. He’s been out at the other defensive end also. It’s predominantly in one spot, but there is movement and you have to be aware of where he is.”

Kelly on linebacker Sean Lee: “You’ve got to know where he is at all times. I think he’s great at keying and diagnosing plays. He’s got great instincts in terms of how to run and leverage to the football. He’s a lot like [Luke] Kuechly in that manner. You have to make sure you stick and glue on blocks at the second level. Sometimes we had people on him but they didn’t stick. A lot of it comes down to the techniques and fundamentals of blocking people at the second level.”

Riley Cooper on the Cowboys’ coverages: “Everyone normally plays us a little different than they show on film with other teams just because of how unique our offense is, but I’d expect more man. That’s what we like, and that’s what we want.”

Lane Johnson on the Dallas defensive line: “They did a lot of slanting. Dallas is the team that slants the most.”